DIY Small Hanging Planter From Pallet Wood

Elena K, Hometalk Team
by Elena K, Hometalk Team
5 Materials
2-4 Hours
As the saying goes, One (wo)man's trash is another's treasure.
And so it happens, I find hard to resist the temptation of "saving" discarded items for later. That's how I ended with a bunch of pallet wood stuffed in the garage! Gladly, I found some use for it.
Enter my new project: DIY Hanging Pallet planters
Since I wanted to make the most of my wood, I decided to make smaller planters. Feel free to change the dimensions of your planter to what fits you best.
Ready for a new project? Let's make a cute little Hanging Planter out of reclaimed wood!
Tools & materials you'll need for the project
To make yours you'll need the following materials:

Pallet wood

Ruler - Ideally T-square

Pencil, pen or maker. I like pencil the best - It's easier to erase.

Saw or Miter Saw

Nail Gun or Nails & Hammer

Eye Hook Screws

Hemp cord or Rope


Optional: Lining fabric or burlap to line up the interior of your planter

I'm assuming your pallet is already disassembled and there aren't any nails left. If you need to take nails out, check this tutorial first:
Here are planter pieces-Sticks are optional
To make a rectangular planter, you'll need to cut 3 long sides (for the long wall and the base) plus 2 short (for the short ones).

Though not that necessary for this smaller size, I'm reinforcing the sides and cutting 4 extra pieces of a squar-ish diameter stick. Sticks came with my pallet but they're also available at your home center.
Start measuring one of the longest sides
Let's get started!

Grab one of your planks, T-square ruler and a pencil, and measure the longer side of the planter. This was a small pallet that had thin wood.

So I'm making it 8.5" long by 4". It's large enough to fit a small hanging plant.
Use a double line to indicate blade cut
Place your plank in the saw bed and make a cut. Remember the blade is going to remove about 1/8" off your wood, so account for that loss when measuring.

TIP: I like to trace a double line with that space in between to remind myself where the cut will go.

Place your plank in the saw bed and cut. Remember the blade is going to remove about 1/8" off your wood, so account for that loss when measuring.
Use your first cut to measure the rest!
Now that you have your first side, you'll have to cut another 2 more of this size.

At this point, forget about the ruler! I use a little trick that makes it easier :)

TIP: Overlap the piece already cut to your next plank, and trace end with the pencil. Don't forget to add that extra 1/8" to account for the blade.

Then go ahead and cut two more: that'll make 3 for the long sides.

To cut the planter short walls, measure the short side of your previously cut pieces and add twice the thickness of wood. For example: If my short side is 4" and the wood is 1/4" thick, the short wall should be 4" + (2 times 0.25") -- or 4.5"

Now cut two pieces 4.5" by 4"
Let's do add a little reinforcement!
If you want to reinforce the walls, cut another 4 pieces of the square stick.

The height of these can vary. I wanted them to stick out a bit, so I cut the height of my wood, which is 4".

TO RECAP - This is what you should have when you finish cutting:

- 3 long pieces 8.5" long by 4" tall, for the long walls and the base

- 2 short, 4.5" long by 4" tall, for the short sides

- 4 pieces cut from a stick, about 4" long that will go inside each corner
We're finally ready to assemble!
NOTE: I'm making two planters of different sizes, that's why I have 2 groups of 3+2+4 pieces each :)

Grab a hammer and long headless nails, approx. 1" long. Or use instead a nail gun. Mine is a Ryobi cordless, with no compressor and I absolutely love it!

But if you don't have a nail gunner, use the hammer.

Examine the 5 pieces you've cut and find whether there's a "good" and a "bad" side. Since my wood is reclaimed I often find one side to have more dings, nail holes, or discoloration.

TIP: The cut in worst condition will be my base. The "bad" sides-marked with blue tape-will go inside the planter.
Now, there are many ways of assembling your parts.

I built the two long sides first: I found it easiest to start nailing the square sticks to the long sides, and once these are done add the short walls.

Here you can see one long side with the sticks already nailed and the blue tape markers.

TIP: Before you nail, don't forget to offset the square sticks to leave enough space for the base. Since my wood is 1/4" thick, I'm placing the square stick 1/4" off the edge.

Once you have your two long sides finished, nail the short sides to close the box.
Success! :) Here's an assembled box
You'll end up with a box that should look like this, but rectangular if you used my dimensions. (Again, size is up to you!)

So. With the planter done, let's add the string next.

First, get a few steel eye hook screws for wood-not too large, but not too small either. Have also a hammer, nails, and small pliers handy.

You'll also need rope or a cord-I like to use hemp rope-and scissors to cut it. Even a small chain would make!
Pliers will make screwing hook in easier!
Unless you're using a hard wood, new fresh woods are often softer. But if you're using wood reclaimed from a pallet, it's likely to be hard and dry. So you may need to pre-drill a little hole with a drill tool.

Or, just use a long nail and hammer it into your wood, so it's easier for the eye screw to go in.

Place the screw into the (pre-drilled) hole and start turning it in. Use the pliers if it's still hard to push in.

Repeat to add one hook to each corner.

Now for the lining: you don't really need to add any but it's a nice touch!
Cut your lining for a pro finish
Wood and edges are not perfectly sealed, so I won't need to make a drainage hole. Since excess water will likely come out through the joints, adding the lining make sense.

Use either thin black weed and landscape fabric, or better yet, burlap. I had a ton of the black-leftover from another project-so that'll be my lining. Otherwise, I much prefer burlap, a natural fiber.

Loosely, cut a piece large enough to line the interior of the planter plus 1"-2" more to fold in. I don't need to be accurate here so I'm just eye-balling.

Once cut, place it inside and fold it up around the base. Then fold it in again at the top. Hold the lining while you're filling the planter with soil-no need to staple it either, unless your planter is large and you want that extra hold from the staple.

Once the planter is filled, the soil will keep the liner in place.
Almost there! Can't wait to see it finished.
Finally, let's move to the last step: Add the string to hang your planter!

Here you can use again several materials: A small chain would do, as well as a rope or cord. I just happen to have this hemp string around. Hemp is durable and I know it'll hold through summer.

Figure how much you want the planter to hang and measure that distance.

Then double it, and add as couple extra inches, and double once again because I'm using a double string on each hook. (To see what I mean, notice the hook in the picture and how the string is double.)
Tie up the strings into a knot to make a hook
I'm attaching the same piece of string to two hooks diagonally and then tying the four together at the top with a knot.

If this sounds too complicated, play around with it. I'm sure you can figure out another system: like tying the cord to the hook.

It's not rocket science!

Once you have the strings attached, add a small plant. Remember it'll be hanging so a little hanging plant with flowers will fit perfectly here! :)
And here it is! Ready to give it a try?
In any case, I have to say I LOVE my new planters. A bit more work than I anticipated but they really add a nice touch to our cherry tree.

Now all I have to do is wait for my plants to bloom!
Resources for this project:
See all materials
Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.More info
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  2 questions
  • Mcgypsy9 Mcgypsy9 on May 20, 2018

    I know I will be making some of these! Too cute! I have all the pallets I want so this will definitely be made from some. Do you know the size of your “sticks”?

  • Kim Rudd Kim Rudd on Jul 06, 2018

    What are the finger nails for? They’re on materials list to buy.

Join the conversation
2 of 44 comments